Delusion or reality?

By David Joel Miller.

Sometimes delusions get people into trouble.

One problem area for mental health is distinguishing between delusions and reality. If


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something is highly unlikely and yet despite mounds of evidence that can’t be true, that someone still firmly believes in its truth, it’s likely to be a delusion. Unfortunately, one person’s belief may be another person’s delusion. Disagreements about the truth often result in violence. After there’s been a violent incident, the question often arises why hadn’t someone spotted that person who was likely to become violent?

Identifying when someone is delusional is the first step. Figuring out when that delusion will lead that person to violence is a much more difficult task.

Defining delusions.

The technical definition of delusions is fixed beliefs which people are unwilling to change even when presented with evidence to the contrary. The harder it is to tell what is truth and what is delusion the more likely it is to result in violence. Religion and politics are two areas particularly prone to disagreements that lead to violence.

Here’s a list of the recognized themes of delusions.

  1. Someone’s out to get me, technically called persecutory delusions.
  2. Grandiose delusions, the person believes they are special and have exceptional abilities.
  3. Love and sex delusions are technically called erotomanic delusions, during which the delusional person believes someone is in love with them or wants them sexually.
  4. Nihilistic delusions involve the fixed belief that a major disaster will occur.
  5. Delusions regarding health and body functioning are called somatic delusions.

Is that delusion bizarre?

When other people in your culture don’t believe, something could happen, it would not be a normal experience for them. Common examples of beliefs that would be considered bizarre delusions include the idea that someone is beaming thoughts into your head or removing your thoughts. Some people also believe that an outside force is controlling them.

The problem with diagnosing delusions.

Delusions can occur in the course of several mental illnesses. There is also one specific category titled Delusional Disorder (F-22) which is a catchall for several distinct kinds of delusions which occur outside the course of another mental illness.

One type of delusion which results in a lot of problematic behavior is the delusional form of jealousy. Jealousy is a complicated topic; not all jealousy is delusional. But delusional jealousy, sometimes described as morbid or pathological jealousy, can result in stalking and interpersonal violence.

In upcoming blog posts, we will look at delusional disorder and then some of the varieties of jealous behavior, when is jealousy good for relationships, as well as how and when jealousy become dangerous.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
David Joel Miller.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch. Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in both Kindle and paperback format.

Casino Robbery.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Casino Robbery. David Joel Miller

Casino Robbery.
David Joel Miller

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. That all ends when the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who has to cope with his symptoms to solve the mystery and create a new life. Casino Robbery is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books